Janet’s Camp fundraiser draws 300

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Joanne David­son Joanne David­son: 303-8091314, par­ti­writer@hot­mail.com and @joanne­david­son on Twit­ter.

Janet’s Camp took an ex­otic turn this year as guests — some 300 strong — as­sem­bled on the grounds of a Den­ver Polo Club es­tate for an evening rem­i­nis­cent of Ha­vana in its hey­day.

Bright col­ors, salsa mu­sic by the Manuel Molina band and trop­i­cal treats helped put ev­ery­one in a cel­e­bra­tory mood.

In the pre­vi­ous 11 years, this ben­e­fit for the YMCA of Metropoli­tan Den­ver had been cast as a glamp­ing — mi­nus, of course, a sleep­over — ex­pe­ri­ence. But in year 12, a com­mit­tee headed by Sun­flower Bank pres­i­dent Vince Abrue de­cided to change things up a bit.

“There was noth­ing wrong with what we used to do,” Abrue said. “We just felt it was time to try some­thing new.”

Ha­vana Nights brought in enough money to send 350 chil­dren to Y-spon­sored sum­mer day camps.

The kids, noted Jim Hiner, the Y’s pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, are from fam­i­lies that are strug­gling with every­day ex­penses or fac­ing cri­sis sit­u­a­tions. Thirty of the sum­mer campers will be from Den­ver’s var­i­ous refugee com­mu­ni­ties. They’re “kids who’ve ex­pe­ri­enced war and poverty like you could not imag­ine,” Hiner said, adding that the camp ex­pe­ri­ence will give them “a sum­mer they’ll never for­get.”

Janet’s Camp was founded by Janet El­way, who at­tended with beau Kevin Mckin­non. While she has stepped away from a lead­er­ship role in the event, she re­mains as a pre­miere spon­sor.

Buck­ley Pow­der was the other pre­miere spon­sor, and Jane Buck­ley, wife of com­pany pres­i­dent Steven Buck­ley, served on the Ha­vana Nights plan­ning com­mit­tee with David Alexan­der, Heather Bell, Brandee Caswell, Erin Dil­ley, Lind­say Gan­nott, Amy Kramer, Lind­say Man­ning and Stephanie Menke.

Chal­lenge Spon­sors were KPMG, Shel­ley and Tom Mont­gomery and the Phyl­lis M. Coors Foun­da­tion. Phyl­lis Coors’ son, Scott, was there with his part­ner, Dr. David Hurt, and their friend, Dr. Ed­uardo Gon­za­lez, a gen­eral sur­geon who would be leav­ing the fol­low­ing day to be­gin a plas­tic surgery fel­low­ship at New York Univer­sity.

Tom Lorz and Jim Rhye had vis­ited a lo­cal military sur­plus store to find jump­suits like the ones for­mer dic­ta­tor Fidel Cas­tro wore.

Epi­curean catered the walk­a­bout sup­per that in­cluded bar­ba­coa, chi­car­rones, grilled pork and plan­tains; The Cap­i­tal Grille sup­plied Cubano sand­wiches and pineap­ple mar­ti­nis.

Missy de Kon­ing, who is with Cold­well Banker Res­i­den­tial Bro­ker­age, was among the guests; oth­ers sup­port­ing the cause were Ken­neth Mon­fort and Chris Keith; Dana Davis, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Chil­dren’s Di­a­betes Foun­da­tion; High Coun­try De­sign Stu­dio’s Denise Fager; Jen­nifer Lan­dis; Rene and Mari Morin; Quinn Wash­ing­ton; Fox 31’s Mea­gan O’hal­lo­ran, the party’s em­cee; and for­mer Den­ver Bronco Reg­gie Rivers, who served as auc­tion­eer.

Pho­tos by Steve Peter­son, Ter­rachroma.com

Brett Dolan, Laura and Bran­don Berkley, and An­drea and Joe Klopfen­stein.

Jane Buck­ley, Vince Abrue and Brandee Caswell.

Priscila and Julio Soto.

Tom Lorz and Jim Rhye.

Jen and Remo Ni­eto.

Janet El­way and Jim Hiner.

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